Hair Porosity
Hair Porosity - Hair Types - Hair Care

Hair Porosity

Hair porosity is a way to describe how well your hair can absorb and retain moisture. It is one of the criteria that we Hair porosity refers to how well your hair can absorb and retain moisture. It is an important factor to consider when choosing hair care products and maximizing their effectiveness. The easiest way to determine hair porosity is by examining a hair strand under a microscope. If you don’t have access to a microscope, there are other methods you can use to determine your hair porosity.

Low Porosity Hair

This type of hair has cuticles that are tightly closed against the hair cortex. Low porosity hair has cuticles that are arranged regularly and are difficult to move. This type of hair is resistant to damage, including hairdressing treatments and styling.

Low porosity hair is naturally healthy, smooth, and shiny (regardless of the cosmetics used). It does not require extensive hair care. If you have low porosity hair, you should try to limit the amount of products you use on your hair, as they can weigh it down and make it look dull.

If you have low porosity hair, try using protein-free, daily conditioners with humectants such as glycerin or honey. Use a protein-free conditioner and low heat to open up the cuticles and allow the conditioner ingredients to penetrate your hair more deeply.

Low porosity hair requires moisturizers that are rich in emollients such as shea butter, jojoba oil, coconut oil, and mineral oil (although I tend to avoid skin and hair care products with mineral oil). Humectants, which attract and hold moisture to your hair, can also be beneficial. Choose lighter, liquid-based products such as hair milks that will not build up on your hair and make it look greasy.

High Porosity Hair

High porosity hair has gaps in between the cuticles, which allows too much moisture to enter the hair. This leaves the hair prone to frizz and tangling in humid weather.

The hair may have increased porosity due to damage caused by hairdressing procedures, insufficient protection or improper care, or it may be naturally highly porous. Curly hair often has high porosity hair. High porosity hair has irregularly distributed cuticles that strongly protrude from the hair cortex and are very sensitive to changes in temperature or humidity. Even if we can temporarily close the cuticles with proper treatment, it is never a lasting effect. High porosity hair is extremely sensitive and easily damaged, and it is very susceptible to styling, dyeing, and other hairdressing treatments. High porous hair needs all the protection it can get when exposed to styling and harsh weather conditions. If you have high porosity hair and do not care for it correctly, over time it will become dull, rough, and straw-like. Fortunately, with proper care, you can slightly lower the porosity of the hair and make it look shiny and healthy.

Even simple everyday things like bathing, swimming, and shampooing can cause more damage and breakage due to the amount of moisture that highly porous hair can absorb.

Be sure to use anti-frizz products in climates with high heat and humidity to help seal your damaged cuticles and prevent them from absorbing moisture from the air.

Because highly porous hair can not only absorb moisture from the air but also lose moisture easily, it’s important to use leave-in conditioners. You can even use a heavy hair butter to help fill the gaps in your damaged cuticles and protect your hair from losing too much moisture.

Normal Porosity Hair

Most hair has an average porosity. Normal porosity hair cuticles are arranged rather regularly and slightly protrude from the hair cortex. This type of hair is usually the easiest to care for. If you are unable to determine your hair’s porosity, it is likely that you have normal porosity hair.

Check what Hair type you Have

The float test

To determine your hair’s porosity, fill a glass or bowl with room temperature water. Take a couple strands of your clean, product-free hair and place them in the water. Observe the hair for 2-4 minutes. If the hair sinks immediately, it has high porosity. If it is still floating after 4 minutes, it has low porosity. If it is slowly sinking, it has normal porosity. This test showed me that I have low porosity hair, although I’m not completely convinced.

The Slide Test

Grab a strand of hair from your head. Starting from the end of your hair, slide your fingers up the hair shaft towards your scalp. If you feel a bumpy texture, you have high porosity hair. If your hair feels smooth, you have low porosity hair. According to this test, my hair seems highly porous.

The Spray Bottle Test

  • Take a small section of your hair and pin the rest back. Spray that section with a little water, just enough to mist it. If the water sits on top of your hair or beads up, you have low porosity hair. If your hair absorbs the water quickly, you have high porosity hair. If the water sits on your hair for several minutes before it is absorbed, you have normal porosity hair.

Here it seems I have low to normal porosity hair.

Can’t wait to get my hair tested under a microscope. I have a feeling I have a mix of all three hair types. My roots are normal to low porosity, while the rest is more porous and damaged due to hair dyes and bleaching. Is that even possible? Up until I started dying my hair lighter, my hair was smooth and soft. I could go for hours or even days without brushing my hair, and it still looked nice. Now, my hair tangles easily and it is very difficult to brush in the morning. It actually takes me a good few minutes to gently brush it. My hair also becomes very frizzy after dying and I have to condition it well to make it stronger and prevent split ends.

What hair type do you think you have?

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